The Great Audience Debate: The Crisis Communication Version

Carter and Ford in a DebateIts a common debate among advertising professionals as to the degree of importance that the number of fans or followers attributes. While some claim its of the utmost importance, others like Ad Age say that maybe it isn’t the best measurement tool. But having influence online takes on an entirely new context when it comes to crisis communication. When a crisis strikes, what will matter more? How many followers acquired or how many of those followers are actually listening to what you’ve got to say?

Consider your crisis communication plan. Is social media involved? If it is, the great audience debate applies directly to you. You can have one fan or over a million, but acquiring an audience that trusts you should be your number one priority. If your audience isn’t listening to your message, you’ve lost the ability to leverage social media in times of trouble. While there is certainly power in numbers, the quality of your audience will set you apart in times of need.

So instead of focusing on numbers alone, we as marketers must seriously consider how we can foster an environment that will provide mutually beneficial relationships. The bigger the audience becomes, the most we’ve got to watch our responsibility with interacting and engaging with them in ways that are meaningful. Not only will this build conversation, but it will be easier to ask your audience to stand up for you should you ever need it.

Regardless of which side of the fence you land on, we all need to see that having an audience grows from a number of factors. Size is one of those factors, but not the only one. Take a moment to look ahead and see those “what if’s” – relying on that audience may one day make or break your brand.

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